Dec 31, 2013; Shreveport, LA, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez smiles during the trophy presentations after defeating the Boston College Eagles 42-19 at Independence Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Look at that smug look on Rich Rod’s face! Of course that look by picture is because of the bowl win against Boston College, but I assume he had a similar look when he got some interesting recruiting news recently. The elusive Washington State defensive target Marcus Griffin (at least as far as recruiting nation goes) had been set to visit South Bend and its Notre Dame Fighting Irish team this weekend. This after ND coaches came for an in-home just a couple of days ago. Now, it seems, that trip is off while a trip to Tuscon is scheduled instead.
Hopefully, Griffin isn’t really setting himself up for failure, but he’s decided to not commit until signing day. At least that’s what he says right now.
So where does that put the Cougars? Well honestly right back near the top of the board I would think. Here’s the thing, once Notre Dame entered the picture they were by far my biggest concern outside of Washington heading into this whole ordeal with the big Bellevue native.
Washington dropped their name from the race, perhaps Griffin and new coaching staff had differences somewhere and both are keeping it under wraps because he seems like a home run in their class otherwise. Now ND isn’t happening, one would think they didn’t end up offering a full ride because of limitations in scholarships. Mississippi State is in the mix but honestly seems too far away for Griffin to seriously consider when his family watching him play is such a big deal as he has mentioned on countless occasions.
Arizona is now in the fray, but honestly there’s nothing at Arizona that seriously concerns me as a recruiting fan that he’ll pull that trigger on signing day, plus they’re also overstocked with 28 or 29 commits. The only possible concern is the lack of DT’s, of which they only have two currently. So in my opinion this will realistically come down to Washington State and California. Cal is almost literally the flavor of the week as you can see below.
Really Sonny Dykes? What is it, Halloween down there or something? I guess they do say the way to a kids heart is through his stomach… or sweet tooth… or something like that. Anyways not here to bash Cal’s recruiting methods (WSU may offer the same amenities for all I know), I’m here to assess the situation. It sure looks to me like Cal is the biggest threat.
But in the end, on signing day, assuming the Cougs have saved a spot at the table or just so happen to have a spot left, I think it comes down to family, legitimate close-to-home value, a coach that has been straight with him all the way and a desire to win immediately. Yes, I think it all comes back to Washington State in the end and I always have. That is IF that spot still remains.
On the note of spots remaining, I wonder if WSU is faced with a dilemma in the near future. A few kids are seriously interested and only a couple spots remain. Will they ask Griffin to jump on the wagon or be happy somewhere else? Cal loves him, but does he love Cal enough to actually take this up to signing day when things become hairy and he may be forced there as a last resort? Or Arizona for that matter, where things are even hairier? Or Miss. St., where things are … well, across the country?
I for one would hate to miss out on this kid because he was too busy sampling the cuisine and in the end wanted the main course but couldn’t have it cause it sold out. I do think the Cougs will find a way to make it work if he does sign, but then again, Leach may set an example for future kids that says “either you want us, or you don’t”. He’s been known to say that sorta thing before and he’s not a guy who believes in changing anything for just one guy, or many of them for that matter.
Go Cougs! (Come on M.G.!)